EU chief researcher resigns, blasting COVID-19 response

Scientist Mauro Ferrari criticizes EU’s response to coronavirus pandemic
Agnes Szucs  – April 08, 2020

BRUSSELS (Anadolu) – European Research Council’s President Mauro Ferrari has resigned, the European Commission confirmed on Wednesday.

The head of the EU agency had complained about the lack of solidarity between EU states and political games preventing him from working on effective pan-European response to the coronavirus in a statement published by the Financial Times.

“I have seen enough of both the governance of science, and the political operations at the European Union,” he wrote in the statement explaining his decision.

The scientist, who had been assuming the position only since the Jan. 1, said “I have lost faith in the system itself”, and now wishes to be “away from offices in Brussels, where my political skills are clearly inadequate.”

Ferrari claims having proposed an emergency research plan involving the best scientists of the world to fight the pandemic, but it was unanimously refused by the agency’s governing body based on formalities, without even consulting the substance of the suggestion.

“I have been extremely disappointed by the European response to Covid-19”, Ferrari citing the complete absence of coordination of health care policies among member states and border closures, as well as the opposition to cohesive financial support initiatives.

“In time of emergencies, people and institutions revert to their deepest nature and reveal their true character” he argues.

Ferrari decided to return “to the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19”, where he can “be at the true service of those who need new medical solutions.”

The 61-year old internationally acknowledged scientist is specialized in nanotechnology.

He has been working on new technologies for healthcare applications for medicine delivery and cancer therapy and teaching at several U.S. universities.

In response, the European Commission’s spokesperson mentioned that 18 research and development projects had already been approved to fight the coronavirus crisis, and the institution “respects the scientific autonomy of the European Research Council.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *